Top Ten Tips For A Successful Job Interview
Job hunting these days can be so stressful. The competition is tougher and the job choices seem a bit on the slim side--- of course depending on your preferred field. So getting a job of your choice to actually call you in for an interview is a huge success in itself. That means out of all of the hundreds or even thousands of people who applied for that position, you were one of their top choices. The interview is just about sealing the deal and proving that you are the perfect candidate.
I used to freak out right before an interview. I would get so nervous that I barely remembered my name. It was just something about sitting in the hot seat in front of my potential employer while they "examined" me with those stern eyes (you know, the stare that freaking pierce a hole in your soul) and then they ask those random behavioral questions. Oh, I hated it.
Eventually, I learned the art of interviewing and pretty much mastered it. An interview is just like being in an infomercial... only you are the product. They called you in because they are obviously interested in what your "label" aka resume says. Now you have to prove why they should "buy" aka hire you. The famous game of selling. I have combined a list of my top ten tips that have helped me and is sure to help you have a positive and successful interview.
Great Packaging--- Dress for Success
First thing is first--- dress for success and always keep it professional. Cliche but it is absolutely true. Your appearance and clothing speaks volume at an interview (well, life in general). Even if it is just a retail store, come dressed like the boss you are aspiring to be.
Conservative Jobs: Stick with a black, grey, or navy pants suit or a professional pencil skirt that meets your knees and a tailored fit blazer. Wear a simple neutral toned blouse or button up that is not too tight around your breast. Keep your heels at 3". If you are wearing a skirt, always wear sheer tights. Wear a nice watch, one ring, a simple short necklace, and small studs (pearls or diamonds). Keep your hair neat and professional and stay light with the make-up. Wear your best dark purse or a brief case.
Fun Jobs: Definitely keep it professional as if it was conservative, but you have a little wiggle room to show personality. Instead of a neutral toned blouse, you can wear a nice print. You can even ditch the pants suit and pencil skirt and wear an appropriate fitting knee length dress and a blazer. Keep your hair neat and make-up light (unless it is a make-up job--- then showcase your skills). For a more creative job, you still would want to look professional but add key pieces in your outfit that will show your creativity based on the position.
Always wear your nicest fragrance (keep it light), best purse, best accessories, and best shoes. It shows that you pay attention to detail, you're neat and organized, and you seek success.
Let Your Personality Shine Through
Of course the job is hiring you based on your skills and how well you can perform, but they are also looking to see if you are a great fit for their culture. Try to avoid sounding robotic when answering the questions. Show them that you are personable and you have a great personality.
Know Your Stuff
If you want to impress your potential employer, know your stuff. Make sure you know all about the company, when they started, what are their values, something major that has happened with the company, and a current event involving the company. Also, brush up on what the position entitles. Study the field days before the interview and refresh yourself. Know what the job entitles (based off of the description given) and learn it like the back of your hand. This will definitely give you an advantage over other candidates.
Limit the "umm" and "uhh" while answering the question. If you need to think about it, simply say you need to think about it and take a few moments to get your answer together. When you respond, always show confidence in your answer. Sit straight and let your voice project. To avoid intimidation, just think in your head that you are amazing and you are just letting them know how amazing you are. Always tell yourself that the job is yours. It will relieve stress and they will love your confidence.
Be Okay With Not Knowing Everything
Your potential employers know that you do not know everything. They do not know everything. It is okay. If they ask you a question that you honestly do not know, please do not lie and make something up. Try to respond to the best of your ability and say that you are not sure, but you are a fast learner and you will be willing to find the answer. That shows them that you are honest, you are open to learn, and you will try to find an answer. Way better than being a liar.
Benefits Before Features
Just like in sales, always present your benefits before your features. When answering, use examples that shows how you are beneficial and will benefit the company. Everyone wants to be sold on how they will be benefited by something before they seek the features. Your benefits are that you can increase sales, provide accurate data, and provide effective project management. Your features are that you are personable, you show up to work on time, and you are organized.
Make Eye Contact
Extremely important. Make eye contact with everyone in the room. This shows your confidence, it shows you are not easily intimidated, and it shows that you have respect.
Detailed but To The Point
Do not be long-winded. Make sure your responses are short, detailed, and to the point. It shows that you know what you are talking about and you don't talk in circles.
So you're talking this great game in the interview, but you want to seal the deal towards the end with proof. Use detailed examples of when you have successfully completed a task that is similar to the job you are going for. Let them know about your educational background and any certifications that you have. Let them know that you have a proven record of success.
Ask Great Questions
The main reason why employers ask you if you have any questions at the end of the interview is to see how interested you are in the position. Make a list of about 3-4 really great questions that you are going to ask in the interview. This is for you as well. You are interviewing your potential employers just like they are interviewing you. They want to know that you are actually searching for a potential career and not just trying to waste their time and money for a short term job. Let your questions show them that you are just as invested as they are. (If this is just a short term job, please do not reveal that).
I really hope my top ten tips on having a successful job interview helped. If you loved it, share it. Please comment if you have any tips to share. Also, comment if this helped you land that super awesome job you wanted!